The Transformation to becoming a writer

Year 1

“Hey Shaggers, I am doing a writing challenge, where I write everyday for a month, you should try it too!”

“Ennif, I can’t write.”

“Of course you can write, why don’t you check out twowritingteachers.com and see what it is all about.”

“Okay. (yea right)”

Shaggers reads Ennif’s slices….Shaggers reads other slices…Shaggers starts a blog… Shaggers writes her first slice.

“I see you wrote a slice today, it was great!”

“Thanks Ennif, it was kind of fun.”

Shaggers writes 6 slices in 2012

Year 2

“Ennif! I am so mad at you, you didn’t tell remind me of the Slice of Life challenge!”

“Sorry Shaggers, I didn’t realize you were planning on writing this year.”

“Of course I planned on it!” (Ennif smiles)

“Well it isn’t too late to start!”

Shaggers writes 10 slices in 2013

Year 3

“Ennif it is almost time for the Slice of Challenge, I am so excited.”

“Me too, what will your first slice be about?”

“I don’t know but I have lots of ideas in my writers notebook, I can’t wait to get started”

Shaggers writes 31 slices in 2014!

From never writing, to writing everyday in just 3 Slice of Life challenges, all thanks twowritingteachers.com and Ennif, of course!

My writing isn’t going to stop in March this year, but continue on through the year.

Well maybe not every day but most days.

 

Friendly Flyover

Plane delays are inconvenient, frustrating and exhausting. I have spent far too many hours wandering aimlessly around various airports, stretching out on the uncomfortable airport chairs trying to catch a few hours sleep as I wait for my rescheduled flight to board.

I received a phone call last night from my best friend in Shanghai, Jennifer, telling me that she was stuck in Hong Kong overnight.  I could empathize with how she was feeling, but that empathy quickly turned into excitement. She was stuck in Hong Kong and they were putting her in a hotel, not too far from my home! We immediately made plans for a visit in the morning. I knew she was disappointed to be losing a day in Nepal but her delay benefited me!

Jennifer made her way to our house in the morning and we attempted to go for a little walk but the uncooperative weather had other plans for us. Dodging raindrops, we made our way back to the maze of malls that surrounds my apartment and bought a few necessities to make enchiladas for lunch.  I whipped up the enchiladas (recipe here, SO GOOD) and put them in the oven to bake. Meanwhile, Jennifer setup our favourite game, Settlers of Catan. Jeezy, Jennifer and I swapped resources, built settlements, shared stories and snacked on enchiladas as the clock ticked by. As always Jennifer won, despite Jeezy and my efforts to block her at every turn. The time flew by and before I knew it, I was hugging her goodbye. 

Although the visit was short, it made Jeezy and I feel like she lived just around the corner from us again, just popping in in for a little visit. Plane delays are a nuisance but I was secretly happy about this one. 

A Shelf of Affairs

There is something about Hong Kong that has captured my heart. I am often asked what makes it so special. I never seem to find the exact words to describe my love for this tiny little place in the great big World.  The typical response tends to be about the beautiful scenery, the fast yet slow pace of life, the delicious food, the kind hearted and mostly polite citizens, the active elderly community, the balance of sky rises and nature, the public transportation system, the opportunity for travel, the treatment of teachers, the list goes on and on.

Today I was reminded of one thing that I always leave out, the libraries. Oh, the libraries! The floors upon floors of books. As a child I never appreciated the magic of libraries. The ability to have shelves upon shelves and floors upon floors of books at your fingertips is simply amazing, especially when they are all free to read. When I discovered that I could borrow books from the Hong Kong libraries, I was overcome with joy. I am pretty certain that I even did a little happy dance. Today I went to the library to return a couple of not-so-great collections of poetry and borrowed four new books.

The Outsiders, a book that I was supposed to read in Grade 8, but my teacher felt that it wasn’t appropriate for us to read and purchased us some Christian-y replacement literature.

Are you there God, it’s me Margaret by Judy Blume, beause I would really like to read all of the literature from Times Top 100 booklist. I am only at 13, so I have a long way to go.

A collection of poems by Sylvia Plath and the collected poems of Ernest Hemmingway, Jeezy picked these two after my failed attempt at finding some poetry that I could appreciate.

I don’t think I will ever be able to put into words how Hong Kong makes me feel but I do need to remember to add the amazing libraries in Hong Kong in my next attempt to answer that reoccurring question.   books

The Musical Life of Jeezy and Shags

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Jeezy and I often find ourselves singing on a daily basis. Him, mostly on key. Me, completely off key, rhythm and beat. We don’t usually sing along to songs, instead we create our own renditions, much better than the original of course.

Here are just few of the musical treats you might hear in our home.

 

“It Wasn’t Me” by Shaggy (listen here)

Our version might go like this:

Jeezy: “You left the cheese on the counter”

Shags: “It wasn’t me”

Jeezy: “Shag,  I caught you red-handed leaving the fridge door open.”

Shags “It wasn’t me.”

 

“Oooby Dooby” by Creedence Clearwater Revival  (listen here)

Jeezy introduced this song to our home and somehow we began including “Ooby Dooby” into our vocabulary to express our excitement.

Shags: Hey Jeezy, I bought some ice cream!

Jeezy: Ooby Dooby!

and it has slowly transformed from ooby dooby to just ooby or even oobs!

Jeezy: Shags I found a great book at the library.

Shags: Oobs!

 

“Where are all the Shopping Bags” By Jeezy Greene to the tune of Pete Seegers’, Where have all the Flowers Gone (listen here)

I have been known to lose things, never anything of extreme value but the little things add up. Jeezy usually deals with my disorganized self quite well. However, he is fairly protective of our reusable shopping bags. I often use them to transport things to school and rarely return them in a timely manner. In frustration Jeezy wrote a song that he likes to sing when he can’t find the bag he is searching for…

Here is an excerpt:

Where are all the shopping bags,

I think we better go and ask Shags.

They’ve been gone for so long,

It’s kind of why I wrote this song.

Remember that canvas one,

I think it came from Hong Kong,

or how about that black pair,

they were sleek and oh so fair…

 

“That’s just the way it is”  by Tupac (listen here)

We often just use the line “That’s just the way it is, ah ya!” when we do something that the other person doesn’t particularly like.

Example:

Shags puts her cold feet on Jeezy’s legs.

Jeezy: “Get those icebergs off me.”

Shags: “That’s just the way it is, ah ya!”

 

Monster” by Kanye West  (listen here)

Anytime we hear someone utter the words, “First things first”, we break into rap.

“Ok first things first I’ll eat your brains,

then I’mma start rocking gold teeth and fangs…”

The rest of the rap may not be appropriate to quote here..

You would be surprised how many times we hear “first things first’.

 

Shaggers is a Miniature Donkey” by Jeezy Greene inspired by… Playing with the Queen of Hearts by Juice Newton (listen here)

We have no idea how or why this song was written but sometime on a holiday in Thailand Jeezy decided that it would be fun to sing over and over again .

“Shaggers is a miniature donkey,

Shaggers is a minaiture donkey,

Shaggers is a miniaturrrrrrreeeeee donkey

Oh Shaggers is a miniature donkey”

This is probably the worst song ever written.

 

Another Jeezy original..

You Never Yearn your Yesson” by Jeezy Greene to the tune of “They call me Mellow Yellow”

This song is likely sung every night shortly after my computer beeps to warn me that it’s battery is dying. Of course I always ignore the beep and think to myself, I will plug it in shortly. When the computer dies, I let out a big sigh and Jeezy sings….

“You never yearn your lesson….”

One of the only times I get to sing this song back to Jeezy is when we go out to eat. I always make excellent choices when I order and he always says, “I just need to order what you order.” But… “He never yearns his lesson….”

 

Dear Shoes

Dear Shoes,

I know that I can’t live without you, but lately I have been struggling to live with you.

You always said you would be there for me.

You said you would protect my feet in the rain, the wind, the snow and heat.

You were adamant that without you, my feet would be filthy, shredded and very sore.

Why then do you leave me each day with aches and pains and blisters on different toes?

Why do you create calluses and sores on the pads of my feet?

Why do you cause daggers to dig deep in my knees?

I am sorry to say shoes, but I hate you!

Yes, I hate you nike running shoes, and Birkenstock sandals.

I despise you Merrell boots and the four pairs of  Santa Barbara black flats.

I can’t stand to look at you flimsy flip flops.

I am sorry to say, that even you, my many fake Toms hiding in the shoe cupboard, I can’t stand a single pair!

Why can’t you cushion my toes and pad my heels?

Why can’t you support my ankle and align my knees?

I am sick and tired of fiddling with bandaids.

You won’t make me swallow another ibuprofen.

No, I won’t endure another step.

I am leaving you.

Each and every pair.

Shoes, my feet are on strike!

They will take the risk of cuts and scrapes.

They will try to avoid the puddles and stones.

They are heading out in this big world alone.

Goodbye shoes!

With disgust,

Shaggerpicchu’s Feet

The Journey of an Intestinal Worm Part 1

Round and round

the head spins

and under the skin it crawls

into the veins it swims

multiplying

as it floats

down and around

the loop the loops

of my circulatory maze

stopping to stretch

enjoying the views

of the echoey lungs

it  finds

dancing to

the near-by

thump

tickling as it

swings it’s teeny tiny tail.

triggering an

eruption

it loses all control

Hack, hack, hack fills the air

sailing through the air

the microscopic beasts

land briefly

in a dark moist cavern

terrified they run

from the razor-sharp

incisors surrounding them

down the passage

mating as they wiggle

hiding here

and hiding there

in the crevices of the tunnel.

In the dark of the night

In the dark of the night,

eyes closed,

asleep,

I speak.

Sometimes mumbles, 

at times words,

but mostly 

full sentences.

In the dark of the night,

eyes open, 

Jeezy smiles. 

Sometimes

he listens silently,

at times he giggles

but mostly

he tries

asking me questions. 

In the dark of the night,

last night,

eyes closed,

I sat

straight as a mountain

arms out

investigating 

the pillow

held in my hands. 

In the dark of the night,

last night,

eyes open,

Jeezy questioned

my act of 

turning the pillow

over and over

with a 

disgusted look

upon my face. 

In the dark of the night,

last night,

eyes closed,

I answered. 

“Bugs! 

Bugs are coming out”

as the pillow 

flew 

like a fly 

across the room

and landed 

on the floor. 

In the dark of the night,

last night,

eyes open,

Jeezy laughed. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Thoughts on Being Healthy

I am not a nutritionalist. I am not a dietician. I am not a personal trainer. I am not a doctor. I am not a specialist. I am not a scientist. I am not a researcher. I am not a nurse. I am not an expert.

But I am healthy.

I don’t diet. I don’t cleanse. I don’t follow trends. I don’t go to the gym. I don’t avoid carbs. I don’t use meal plans.I don’t count calories. I don’t starve myself. I don’t juice. I don’t eat low-fat anything.

But I am healthy.

 I sometimes eat out. I sometimes eat pizza. I sometimes eat chips. I sometimes eat fries.  I sometimes eat ice cream. I sometimes drink beer. I sometimes stay inside all day. I sometimes spend too much time on my computer. I sometimes eat chocolate bars.

But I am healthy.

Being healthy isn’t easy.

Being healthy isn’t hard.

Being healthy takes time.

Being healthy is a choice.

I choose to be balanced. I choose to eat breakfast. I choose to walk home. I choose to swim.  I choose to cook my dinners. I choose to be a vegetarian. I choose to pack a lunch. I choose to go to bed early. I choose to eat real food. I choose to avoid processed sugars. I choose to learn about food. I choose to stop eating when I am full. I choose to find new recipes. I choose to make the time for yoga. I choose to drink water. I choose to be active. I choose to eat fruit. I choose to hike.

I choose to find the time to be healthy.

Stuck!

With music blaring

feet stomping

fists pumping

Meredith sings along.

With feet sneaking

knees crawling

hands creeping

Shannon tip-toes in

Nothing was easier than giving Merbear a fright! A simple tap on the shoulder, a bang on the shower door or even a whispered hello sent her screaming. Scaring Meredith became a pastime among housemates. Until one evening, it came to a halting end.

The night of frights began well. I startled her as she danced to Kanye’s Workout Plan in the shower. I made her jump as I leapt out of the closet of her room. Success after success inspired me to take it up a notch. I pushed the frozen goods to the side of the deep freeze and crawled in, waiting for Meredith to pass by. As the lid flew open, I popped out like a jack-in the box! And Meredith? She ran circles round the house.

As the night carried on, Meredith went down the stairs, past the washer and dryer and into her room to get dressed for the evening out. I followed at a distance and planned my last scare of the night.

I slowly opened the dryer door. Foot by foot, knee by knee I carefully crawled inside, awaiting my victim.  As Meredith came out in her Friday night best, she heard a “pssssssst!” from the left. As her glance drifted toward the sound, she screamed! She screamed louder than ever before. And me? I laughed until I cried.

Her scream attracted just about every partier in the house. Before I knew it there were about ten people on the stairs laughing at me in the dryer and Meredith on the floor.

The laughter slowly subsided and Meredith regained her composure. The joke was over and it was time to leave my hiding spot. I moved one leg toward the opening, without success.  I tried the other, but I couldn’t quite get it out. I attempted going head first, no luck.

I was stuck, really truly stuck!

Laughter hit me first, along with the stairwell full of spectators.  Panic soon followed. My knees were beginning to ache from the metal dryer drum, my arms were tired of holding myself up and my neck was strained from crouching down. I needed to get out. I tried escaping at every angle possible but I just couldn’t manage to find a way out.

As the first tear fell, the men on the stairs excused themselves to hide their chuckles. The girls joined in my panic and suggested a number of possible movements to help.

“We need to call 911!” cried Christy. “There is only one way out! We need the jaws of life!” she yelled as she ran up the stairs to get her phone.

Meanwhile, John Wood came calmly down the stairs, laughing to himself at the sight of me stuck in the dryer. He reached into the dryer and turned the drum around with ease and I slipped out upside down.

I was saved.

The tears immediately stopped and the laughter returned to me and the others for the rest of the night. I think Karma got the best of me that night and I never scared Meredith again.

The World Through My Eyes

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Canada is home, family and friends.

Sri Lanka is a culture mostly untouched.

United States is Spring Break year after year.

Malaysia is climbing mountains and exploring caves.

Italy is endless walking for pizza and gelato.

Indonesia is sleeping in rice paddies.

Andorra is lemmings jumping off cliffs.

Philipines is beautiful children becoming your friend.

Switzerland is chocolate and mesmerizing mountain views.

South Korea is coffee shops and impeccable manners.

France is ordering chocolatines at a boulangerie.

Thailand is Pad Thai, curry and ladyboys.

Vatican City is just a confusing place.

Laos is zip-lining and tubing down fast moving rivers.

The Bahamas is perfect beaches ruined by terrible resorts.

Peru is hiking up and down mountains to calm your mind.

Vietnam is massages, second families and amazing food.

Spain is being squished in a car with your family.

Cambodia is temples and the trickiest children.

Cuba is dancing with Mom on the beach.

China is love and where I found my happiness.

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